Well, it is that time of year again, when I try to recollect everything that happened in the craft beer world this year that I participated in. This is typically the most difficult article of the year for me to write because I go into it thinking, “What the hell did I do this year anyway?”
I know I went on my annual craft beer tour, I know I was able to put on the 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, and I know there was at least one brewery closure in the South Bay. I used to end these recaps by predicting what I expect to happen in the following year, but the last two years have been really tough to predict. Unfortunately, there is a lot slated for 2023 that is not exactly positive, but I don’t make the news, I only report it. So, let’s look back at 2022, because I am sure I must have done something more that what I have already mentioned. Continue reading
I know I say it every year, but there is no way I ever anticipated this event celebrating the South Bay’s craft beer scene would still be going on all these years later, but here we are. I didn’t let a little thing like a change of ownership at the original venue, or a global pandemic with its accompanying shutdowns stop us from continuing what has become, dare I say, a tradition.
There is no question that COVID has caused a few changes over the last two years, but we will not let that stop us. The 8th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will provided live music, Tortilla Cantina’s fabulous food, and of course, plenty of craft beer that was brewed in the South Bay. Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday afternoon at the King Harbor Brewing Company’s tasting room in Redondo Beach, where several dozen friends and family of Claudia, of Claudia and Juan fame, gathered to celebrate Claudia’s birthday.
Guests were treated to plenty of King Harbor Brewing’s tasty brews, wine, all you could eat tacos from El Chiapas Tacos, ballads, dancing, and birthday cake. It was pretty obvious that a fun time was had by all.
Happy birthday, Claudia; I hope you have a great year. Cheers! Continue reading
These photos were taken Friday evening at the Smog City Brewing tasting room in Torrance, where friends and coworkers gathered to wish Kristie Bjorklund a fond farewell as she said goodbye to the South Bay to pursue new adventures in Central California.
I was trying to think just how long I have known Kristie; I think it has been about 10 years. She has worked at Sierra Nevada Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, and most recently, at Smog City, primarily at their Steelcraft location. With her move comes a new job, this time with Firestone Walker in Paso Robles; so if you are going to the Invitational, be sure to tell her hello as she will be working. Continue reading
2021 is about to tap out; I guess it was better than 2020, but was it really? It almost seems like 2020 was just to immerse us into our new normal, and 2021 was a test run to test scientific theories and our own personal abilities to deal with this crap.
I know I did some stuff this year that I had not done since 2019, so I guess things are improving, it is probably my own personal comfort level that I have to work on. This was my first complete year without my dog or a girlfriend, which is probably resulting in my becoming more of a wallflower again. We shall see.
Did you ever see the movie Memento? Well, I am slightly better than Leonard (the star) at remembering stuff, so I use my camera and my websites so I do not have to cover my body in tattoos to recall the past year.
Anyway, here is the Craft Beer Guy recap of 2021; what the hell did I do over the last 12 months? Continue reading
These photos were taken Saturday, October 2 at King Harbor Brewing Company where they held a birthday party for AJ’s son, who turned four.
For those that are unaware, AJ is the manager at King Harbor Brewing Company and he is my nephew which makes his son my grand-nephew, and for that he gets his birthday party photos on my website.
Happy birthday Aven, I hope you have the best year yet. Cheers! Continue reading
The 7th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is two days away, and as hard as it may be for me to believe, this may be the first time that I am not going to be rushing around trying to fill taps with less than 24 hours to go; knock on wood.
Just in case this is the first you have heard about my event, shame on me, but this is what you need to know.
The tap takeover is returning to Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance, from noon until 10:00 PM. Tortilla Cantina is located at 1225 El Prado, in Torrance. Parking is always free in Torrance and there is a large parking structure just south of Tortilla Cantina. Continue reading
These tap takeovers have been a great success since the first one in 2015; over 400 people attended the inaugural event. Only due to a temporary change in management at the original venue, Flights Beer Bar, was I forced to find somewhere else in the South Bay that could accommodate the amount of beer I wanted to bring in; Tortilla Cantina fit the bill nicely as they actually had more taps than Flights. Icing on the cake was that owner Rick Gomez already had a positive relationship with all the local breweries.
The transition was smooth enough that we even survived the Great 2020 Pandemic, even if the second or third lockdown was scheduled to begin the day after the 6th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. At least this year we do not have to worry about another lockdown disrupting the event as there is no way Newsom will do that right before the election, so we are a definite go. Continue reading
While four breweries that were in attendance last year have since closed up (Abigaile, State, Ximix, and Zymurgy), this year we have 21 South Bay breweries that have confirmed attendance this year, seven of which did not exist during last year’s tap takeover. Continue reading
In case you had not heard, Los Angeles County craft breweries no longer require reservations a day in advance, effective this past Friday. What you may not be aware of is that these breweries, and their patrons, have Transplants Brewing to thank for this development.
To refresh your collective memories, at the end of May, Los Angeles County allowed breweries to begin reopening under an advanced Stage 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown. Because of a variance granted in June, breweries began setting up their operations to ensure social distancing guidelines as well meeting the obligations of providing food [via food trucks] so they could operate under the same guidelines as restaurants. This was a fair decision that definitely helped local business continue in their attempt to survive the decimation of today’s economy.
Because COVID-19 positive cases began rising, the County decided on June 28 that restaurants’ indoor dine-in services would be closed, but outdoor dining would open and delivery/takeout would be allowed; all bars, breweries, pubs, indoor wineries and tasting rooms were closed for onsite consumption.
On July 12, I tried to get a letter campaign to Governor Newsom, Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Hahn, and the LA County Health Department going, but for some reason I did not see much support coming from our local breweries. Continue reading